Men's Fashion Trends for Spring
By Sharon Mosley Friday, June 22, 2012, 08:33 AM EDT
"When it comes to style, men have it so easy," says Sherrie Mathieson, fashion expert and author of the Baby Boomer's guide "Forever Cool: How to Achieve Ageless, Youthful and Modern Personal Style." "For one thing, men's fashion trends don't change as often -- or as drastically -- as they do for women," admits Mathieson. However, she does find that many men often "stumble into some of the same fashion pitfalls."
The fashion stylist urges men to re-evaluate their physical size occasionally. "Do you really still have a 34-inch waist or is it closer to 40? Men often cling to formula dressing that should have been retired long ago."
She also urges caution when it comes to borrowing ideas from the younger generation. "Think twice before you indulge in the excessive or outrageous," she says. "The goal is to find comfort and style in a look that is simple, unaffected and masculine. It's not about being a fashion plate -- it's about simplicity in both color and style."
While your dad may not be ready to step out in the latest trim swim trunks or a colorful pair of suede wingtips, there are definitely some ways to update his wardrobe this summer. Here are some of Mathieson's tips:
--Skip the bold, overwhelming colors. Look for more understated hues to combine in both sporty clothes and suits. Tone-on-tone charcoal and blue are two of the most popular color combos this season. Think "Fifty Shades of Grey" and give Dad a new charcoal silk tie!
--Make sure clothes fit. There's nothing worse than baggy T-shirts and shorts that make men look older than they are. "No piece of clothing should be too tight," says Mathieson. Experiment with high-tech fabrics that offer form and function in casual clothes. And while the "skinny" jean has loosened up this year, trousers and pants are still on the narrow side and can be much more flattering than pleated, slouchy styles. "Front pleated denim pants are neither jean nor trouser," says Mathieson. "They belong in no-man's-land."
--Steer clear of "problem prints." We've all seen these -- from the other end of the mall. Hawaiian floral prints are still around but very toned down in more subtle colors. And there are plenty of other newsy "prints" out there in more sophisticated checks and plaids.
--When it comes to accessories for men, Mathieson's No. 1 pick is a watch. "It's as good a clue to his personality as handwriting analysis," she says. "The watch you choose can scream, 'I'm wealthy' (think gold, encrusted with diamonds) or it can speak quietly of self-confidence with its spare elegance."
--Ditch the Mr. Magoo oversized glasses and choose eyewear that's modern and in a shape that flatters your face. Horn-rimmed glasses are a classic.
--Belts should always complement your shoes in style and color. A black or brown belt in plain leather with a simple buckle will work well. And remember, you don't always have to wear a belt -- especially with shorts.
--Shoes should never be considered a mere necessity or afterthought, says Mathieson. "A classic shoe is always a safe bet (black or brown Oxfords in a wingtip or cap-toe), but if you opt for something trendy, make sure it's well designed and understated." And please skip the knee-high socks with sandals. That's a definite fashion "don't."
--"The more extensive your repertoire of accessories -- those you buy each season for updating and those classics you've collected over the years -- the more options you'll have for mixing-and-matching, and increasing the potential for multiple outfits whether they're casual, professional, or dressy," adds Mathieson.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.